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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Microscale modeling of effective mechanical and electrical properties of textiles

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A computational framework for assisting in the development of novel textiles is presented. Electronic textiles are key in the rapidly growing field of wearable electronics for both consumer and military uses. There are two main challenges to the modeling of electronic textiles: the discretization of the textile microstructure and the interaction between electromagnetic and mechanical fields. A director-based beam formulation with an assumed electrical current is used to discretize the fabric at the level of individual fibrils. The open-source package FEniCS was used to implement the finite element model. Contact integrals were added into the FEniCS framework so that multiphysics contact laws can be incorporated in the same framework, leveraging the code generation and automated differentiation capabilities of FEniCS to produce the tangents needed by the implicit solution method. The computational model is used to construct and determine the mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties of a representative volume elements of a plain woven textile. Dynamic relaxation to solve the mechanical fields and the electrical and thermal fields is solved statically for a given mechanical state. The simulated electrical responses are fit to a simplified Kirchhoff network model to determine effective resistances of the textile. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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